FOUR men who stabbed a 15-year-old orphan to death have been jailed for a total of 60 years.

Relatives of the convicted men burst into tears as the sentences were handed down at the Old Bailey today.

Sunday Essiet, from Southwark, was stabbed nine times at Invermore Place, Plumstead, on February 19 last year after being chased through a park.

Miles Maddy, Adeniyi Oloyede and Ifedotun Gbadebo-Araoye, all aged 19, along with Sikuru Doherty, aged 20, denied the murder but were found guilty at the Old Bailey on April 6.

Gbadebo-Araoye was also found guilty of taking a chain from Sunday's friend at knifepoint.

Judge Timothy Pontius told the group Sunday's life had been cut “brutally short” by an attack which was “savage, merciless and unrelenting”.

After an initial confrontation that day with Sunday, who was carrying an imitation gun, Doherty and Gbadebo-Araoye went back to get knives from Doherty's house.

The two men and their friend Oloyede, who was not seen with a knife, then went back to attack Sunday, who was chased through a park.

Maddy also took out a blade and “joined in with enthusiasm”, having arrived as Sunday “was trying desperately to escape”, the judge said.

Following the murder, Oloyede and Gbadebo-Araoye attempted to flee to Nigeria.

The court heard how all four men had previous convictions for incidents involving either violence or the carrying of a weapon.

After the sentences were given, it was revealed one witness was attacked after having given evidence from behind a screen.

He was left with scars after having acid thrown in his face.

All four men were given life sentences.

Oloyede, of Coralline Walk, Thamesmead, will serve a minimum of 13 years in jail.

Doherty, of Swetenham Walk, Woolwich, was given a minimum 16-year sentence.

Gbadebo-Araoye, of The Heights, Charlton, must serve a minimum of 16 years and was given a seven-year sentence for robbery, to run concurrently.

Maddy, of Coralline Walk, Thamesmead, must serve a minimum of 15 years.